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Windows 7: Set up simple network and ensure security

26 Jan 2011   #31
balm

Windows 7 Home Premium - Desktop 32 bit / Laptop HP (G62) 64 BIT
 
 

thank you wily, hopefully other beginners might benefit from the basic discussion here...


1. i noticed in the MAC address filtering, my network computer is addressed by its name, is that the same as its numbered (physical) mac address?

2. if i use the automatically connect to wireless network, is there any risk of connecting first to someoneelses nearby unprotected/open wireless network- iassume no since by default my network would be "preferred"...?


3. i just noticed in the wireless network properties a setting named "enable WLAN connection settings", should this be enabled, and what is it (so far i never enabled it)?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Jan 2011   #32
wilywombat

win7
 
 

Hi Balm,

1. Your network computer name is setup when your OS was installed or if you change it subsequently. The numbered (physical) mac address is a unique number that is assigned to your network adaptor when it is manufactured. If you use mac address filtering, you will add a further layer of security but it depends on how paranoid you want to be!!

2. You will normally connect to your preferred network first but any network whether open or protected will show up as a detected network if the signal is sufficient. Its just that you would not be able to connect to the protected network as you wouldn't have the WPA2 password key(assuming WPA2 security). Do not set up your network with WEP security as this is as good as an open book to a drive by hacker as it is easy to crack with the correct tools.

3. The simple answer to this is, how did you set your wireless connection up and is it working? If you used the manufacturers setup disk or it came ready setup on your system and it is unchecked, leave it alone as it is not needed!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2011   #33
balm

Windows 7 Home Premium - Desktop 32 bit / Laptop HP (G62) 64 BIT
 
 

thank you.

1. so lets say im a bit obsessed, to enable MAC filtering I need to enter the following addresses (from ipconfig /all) :

a) wlan adapter - physical (6 pairs of 2 digits, separated with hyphen) - would be wireless laptop device;

AND

b) ethernet adapter - physical (6 pairs of 2 digits, separated with hyphen) - would be ethernet cabled desktop device


Note: i can ignore router "access point" settings MAC address (i assume this is the MAC of the router itself)

also i noticed the "hardware address" in router settings for the ethernet connected desktop does NOT match the physical address seen in ipconfig /all for the same device?


2. Re. open networks vs my own, so the automatically connect option i enabled can only ever do an automatic connection ONLY to my own network, as opposed to automatically connecting to a nearby fully open network ...correct?

can you comment these?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Jan 2011   #34
wilywombat

win7
 
 

1. MAC filtering only applies to wireless networking ( after all, if you are connected to the router via ethernet you areconnected physically via wires!!)

2. If you have selected your network as the one to connect to then the system will try to connect to this first. If you select a different open network subsequently, then when you reboot, it will try and connect to that open network first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2011   #35
balm

Windows 7 Home Premium - Desktop 32 bit / Laptop HP (G62) 64 BIT
 
 

Gotchya, thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2011   #36
wilywombat

win7
 
 

Pleasure!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2011   #37
balm

Windows 7 Home Premium - Desktop 32 bit / Laptop HP (G62) 64 BIT
 
 

1. i understand i can change the router default private ip address to another custom one thru the router config, do i also have to reset in cmd windows?

2. my isp told me to assign private static ip address to each computer i can leave all DHCP settings as is in the router config (enabled DHCP), and just assign the ones i want on the computer itself....is this all thats required?

3. in your opinion is any of this REALLY necessary security wise, given a small home network, and the WPA2 encryption...

thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2011   #38
wilywombat

win7
 
 

Hi Balm,
You still have some doubts Eh?!!!

1. Re changing the router default address, this issue was dealt with in #30 above.

2. Your ISP needs to read #28 and #30 above to see how DHCP works! If you leave DHCP enabled (best option), the DHCP server takes care of the ip address allocation and you DO NOT need to set any of this up in your computers.

3. Remember your question earlier in #33 about MAC filtering? The same answer is also true for WPA2 encryption ie. it only applies to wireless networking. The advice for reducing the range of DHCP addresses applies whether you have all wireless or mixed wireless/ethernet networking as this does leave less addresses for a hacker to guess. The main arsenal on your side is the routers inbuilt firewall and DHCP to make ip allocation easier.

Remember...they are not all out to get you...just a few scumbags!!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2011   #39
balm

Windows 7 Home Premium - Desktop 32 bit / Laptop HP (G62) 64 BIT
 
 

thanks, hope i didnt ware you down yet....im trying to get up to speed after ZERO knowledge about networks/routers....im getting there now!


i know a few scums can really cause havoc though...i learned the hard way...

re. 2. i think i didnt express properly, its because i asked them how to set "static" adresses in the computer....but i get your point....BTW...my ISP tech support is VERY scary....maybe i know more than some of them now, thanks to being here!


Until the next time...thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2011   #40
wilywombat

win7
 
 

Hey Balm, my pleasure. If you have any other probs, come back to the forums and ask and someone will always help!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

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